Wham, Bam, Thank You Edweena!

Glam Rock Goldmine promises to be a rollercoaster ride through the glam rock songbook. And this is the real deal, with the likes of T.Rex, Bowie and Slade performed by Edweena Banger, ex lead singer of punk rock icons, The Nosebleeds and Slaughter & the Dogs.

The greatest glam rock show at the Fringe

I put on my platforms, spiked my Mohican, and braced myself for a rocky ride when I caught up with Edweena herself.

To start us off, can you summarise your Edinburgh show in a single sentence?

Glam Rock Goldmine is an illustrious journey through the quantum physics of glam rock and beyond.

I'm sold. How do you describe the Edweena Banger sound?

“Cult Trash Glam.”

With The Nosebleeds and Slaughter & the Dogs, you were at the forefront of the late ’70s punk explosion. Did it feel like being a part of something bigger than just the music?

It was unknown territory: a new movement. It felt like a revolution, and we were part of it. On the streets, this was guerrilla warfare. We were taking on the establishment like a thousand Che Guevaras.

The excitement was palpable, the adrenaline like a lightning storm. Everyday a new anthem was born.

We felt we were changing the world, like it was a ubiquitous counterculture.

It was an illusion of course, but we felt supercharged… if only for a short while.

As with any war, I imagine there were casualties.

I bear the scars.

In 1977, I got bottled coming out of The Ranch, a punk gay bar owned by famed drag queen Foo Foo Lammar. The place would often be full of the local punk royalty: Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Morrisey, Drones, V2.

The police said, “What do you expect, coming out of a puff’s club dressed like that?”. I was wearing drainpipe pants, pumps, and a ripped t-shirt with “Distroy” sprayed on it. The spelling alone probably outraged the troglodyte, propaganda-fed, numbskulls.

It seems the music industry has changed quite a lot since then. And not all for the better.

Up to the noughties, artists could survive by doing one album and a tour a year. Now I know guys who work in between world tours scrubbing toilets.

Bands make more out of t-shirts and merch than downloads. Years ago, CDs would sell out at gigs. Now bands can’t even give them away.

If your tech-savvy, you can use social media to build your profile to an extent where you can get on festivals and fill tiny clubs. But now, for most artists, music is a hobby. Most have day jobs to subsidise their part-time dream.

The only thing that keeps bands going is the buzz of playing. I still very much enjoy the process of performing.

How much of your audience today is looking to relive nostalgia?

That would be around… 100 percent.

My last albums sold in the hundreds, which is probably quite good. Paul McCartney struggles to sell albums these days. Writing your own songs is like having a vanity project now. I still write a lot, but I know it's mainly for my own amusement.

Why do you think a younger audience should give your music a go?

For a historical point of view…. there’s much to be gained by visiting the past.

I’m a performing museum. I’m an authentic relic. I should be a Grade 2 listed building.

After six decades in the industry, why have you decided to play the festival for the first time now?

It’s been on my bucket list for a long time, but I’ve always been committed elsewhere. But bookings are not booked long term these days… so I had a window of opportunity.

I’ve always popped up to enjoy the festival. I even worked on the poster side of things back in the 90s. It's a fabulous experience, hard work on the promotion side, but I’ve never feared hard work.

Can we expect more music from Edweena Banger soon?

I’ve recently started tinkering with the piano, and I’ve written a couple of albums worth of tunes that I'd like to put out and perform with a full glam rock’n’roll band.

Plus, The Nosebleeds have an upcoming show with The Members playing at the Star & Garter on 29th October. And who knows, maybe there will be another Slaughter Bite Back show next year!

And aside from the music?

My cabaret side has taken me over Europe, to Greece, Germany, and Spain, and all around Britain.

I’ve always dabbled in stand-up. I performed with Steve Coogan, Caroline Aherne, and John Thompson on a showcase in the 90s, and amazingly got offered a TV break. I feel it’s unfinished business, and I think I’ll have one more go at that soon.

I’m a versatile showbiz person, which is very much a part of the show I’m doing in Edinburgh.

Finally, in exactly 50 words, tell our readers why they should book to see Glam Rock Goldmine @TheSpace on Niddry Street between 14th-21st August?

Roll up, roll up! Come see the greatest glam rock show at the Fringe. This show has entertained discerning sections of the public for decades, with singalong tunes and fun-filled audience participation. There’s Bowie, T-Rex, and Slade. There are mystical ramblings, imaginary tigers and painted visionary globes of eternal light.

Since you’re here…

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